Very recently, I was told a story about a kitten who survived a trip out to Virden under the hood of a car. The kitten had crawled up into the engine to keep warm overnight, and was fortunate enough to not sustain any injuries.
However, when the kitten managed to exit the vehicle he was quite a distance from home. This little fella was lucky enough to be reunited with his owners in the end.
Not every story of a kitten or cat trapped under the hood of a vehicle ends like this one.
A few weeks ago a tiny kitten ended up at a local vet clinic with severe burns and injuries from a similar trip under the hood of a car. Burns are often the result of travelling under the hood of a vehicle, but there are many more cases where the cats simply do not survive.
As it gets colder outside, animals seeking shelter are enticed by the warmth coming from a vehicle that has just stopped. Cats and other small animals will climb up underneath a vehicle and curl up near the engine where it’s warm and dry. In most cases, these animals are just doing their best to survive and are simply trying to get out of the cold.
Animals found under the hoods of vehicles are most commonly housecats. While it is not unheard of to find wildlife curled up next to a warm engine, in most cases, cats are the culprits.
While some wild animals and stray cats will venture onto human turf, housecats that are comfortable with people and used to having a warm place to go that are most at risk.
(This is just one more reason why keeping your cats indoors in the winter is a good idea.)
It hasn’t been very cold yet this year, and I’ve already heard a few stories about cats caught under the hoods of vehicles.
The kitten that was severely burned was quite tiny and had to undergo some serious medical treatments — but he was lucky enough to survive.
While it may be a bit of a nusance to drivers, especially those in rural areas, these little critters are just doing their best to get stay warm and safe.
The solution is quite simple — just make some noise when you get into your car.
Tap on the hood of the vehicle, slam the car door when you get in or honk the horn before you put the keys in the ignition. It could save a life.
Make sure the noise is just loud enough to wake any cats that might be sleeping and give them a chance to vacate the premises.
Dana Grove is an animal lover who works with several pet organizations in Brandon.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 13, 2012